“Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.” C.S. Lewis



How did I get the book? StorytellerInc Book Club

Genre: Gothic / Horror


Arthur Kipps, a junior solicitor in London, is summoned to Crythin Gifford to attend the funeral of Mrs Alice Drablow, and to sort through her papers before returning to London. It is here that Kipps first sees the woman in black and begins to gain an impression of the mystery surrounding her. From the funeral he travels to Eel Marsh House and sees the woman again; he also hears the terrifying sounds on the marsh.

Despite Kipps’s experiences he resolves to spend the night at the house and fulfil his professional duty. It is this night at Eel Marsh House that contains the greatest horror for Kipps. Kipps later discovers the reasons behind the hauntings at Eel Marsh House. The book ends with the woman in black exacting a final, terrible revenge.

200words (or less) review: This is a book I’ve been meaning to read for a long time. That Arthur Kipps story begins on Christmas Eve was a surprise, as is that the story of the woman in black is from his past. Arthur has decided to share this history, which his family will only learn of after his death and so we begin…

The Woman in Black is a short book and a good section is set aside to building up the story and atmosphere. The pacing for me was ideal because it gave me all the time I wanted to create a vivid picture of Eel Marsh House in my mind. The clinging fog, the sound of the pony trap, the cries across the marsh. Not least the tension that builds around the locked room and the bump bump bump that Arthur Kipps hears through the door he can’t force open.

Susan Hill certainly has a skill for getting under your skin. It’s a slowly building unnerving tale that will stick around after you’ve finished.

Recommend it?


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This end of the year survey is hosted by Jamie from The Perpetual Page Turner.

2014 Reading Stats:

Number Of Books You Read: 224

Number of Re-Reads: 27 if you include the 22 Manga’s

Genre You Read The Most From: Contemporary


Best In Books:

Best Book You Read In 2014?
You’ll find out on the 31st of December ;)

Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky – sorry. I know so many people love it but I really didn’t. :(

Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read in 2014?
The Ghost and the Goth by Stacey Kade – I expected it to be okish but actually I enjoyed a lot.

Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did) In 2014?
Flirty Dancing by Jenny McLachlan and Say Her Name by James Dawson

Best series you started in 2014? Best Sequel of 2014? Best Series Ender of 2014?
Best series: Night School Series by C J Daugherty
Best Sequel of 2014: Darkness Hidden by Zoë Marriott
Best Series Ender: Haven’t read any…

Favourite new author you discovered in 2014?
I can’t list just one!

Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?
I really started delving into horror this year. Was surprised to learn that I’m not the scaredy-cat I thought I was.

Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?
The Whispering Skull (Lockwood & Co. #2) by Jonathan Stroud

Book You Read In 2014 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?
The Last Leaves Falling by Sarah Benwell and Dearest (Woodcutter Sisters #3) by Alethea Kontis

Favourite cover of a book you read in 2014?

Most memorable character of 2014?
Blue from The Diaries of Bluebell Gadsby Series by Natasha Farrant.

Most beautifully written book read in 2014?
Bird by Crystal Chan

Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2014?
This Book is Gay by James Dawson

Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2014 to finally read?
Where The Mountain Meets The Moon by Grace Lin

Favourite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2014?
“Don’t let ignorance win,” said Ms Stevenson. “Let love.”
From Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden

Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2014?
Shortest- Ta Dah! by Anna Bogie & Rebecca Elliot (32 pages)
Longest- Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld (599 pages)

Favourite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year
Hazel and Daisy from Murder Most Unladylike (Wells and Wong #1) by Robin Stevens

Favourite Book You Read in 2014 From An Author You’ve Read Previously
Dearest (Woodcutter Sisters #3) by Alethea Kontis

Best Book You Read In 2014 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:
A Room Full of Chocolate by Jane Elson

Best 2014 debut you read?
Gracefully Grayson by Ami Polonsky

Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?
Darkness Hidden (The Name of the Blade #2) by Zoë Marriott

Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?
Weirdos vs Bumskulls by Natasha Desborough

Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2014?
The Last Leaves Falling by Sarah Benwell

Hidden Gem Of The Year?
Land by Alex Campbell

Book That Crushed Your Soul?
The Last Leaves Falling by Sarah Benwell

Most Unique Book You Read In 2014?
The Ghosts of Heaven by Marcus Sedgwick

Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?
Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley, had to read it in stages. The book is amazing btw – read it.


Looking ahead

One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2014 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2015?
One book? I have a mountain of them…

unnamedBook You Are Most Anticipating For 2015 (non-debut)?
Under My Skin by James Dawson

2015 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?
The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson, The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich & The Sin Eater’s Daughter by Melinda Salisbury

Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2015?
Frail Mortal Heart, the last in Zöe’s amazing trilogy.

One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2015?

A 2015 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone:
The Last Leaves Falling by Sarah Benwell – seriously it’s amazing.

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22318610How did I get the book? Received from publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Genre: Contemporary

Synopsis: What would you do if your mum was her bossy, everyday self one minute, and an out-of-control teenager the next?

Izzy is so excited to be a bridesmaid at her mum Rio’s wedding. But on the big day, disaster strikes and Rio ends up in a coma. When she wakes up, Rio’s not herself – in fact, she thinks she’s still a rebellious fourteen-year-old. Izzy is desperate to get her mum to remember who she really is…

200words (or less) review: Shine Izzy Shine turned out to be more emotional then I initially anticipated. I think the “rebellious fourteen-year-old” description of Izzy’s mum Rio had me expecting more comical situations when actually Izzy has to deal with the fact that her mother doesn’t know or accept her.

Izzy is endearing. As the narrator of the story you’re keyed into her emotions but I still thought that Ellie Daines portrayed Rio’s struggle well. Izzy tries to be fair and understanding of Rio and it fits in with Izzy’s character. I also liked that she never forgot about Malcolm.

The book is a quick read. I read Shine Izzy Shine it in a couple of hours and to be honest I wish there had been a little more, especially of Izzy. I grew really fond of her.

Ellie Daines certainly has a way of pulling you into the story, I know I’ll be checking out Lolly Luck in the future. :)

Recommend it?


Expected publication:
January 1st 2015 by Andersen


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My True Love Gave to Me #WinterReads


On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me …This beautiful collection features twelve gorgeously romantic stories set during the festive period, by some of the most talented and exciting YA authors writing today. The stories are filled with the magic of first love and the magic of the holidays.

Midnights by Rainbow Rowell
The Lady and the Fox by Kelly Link
Angels in the Snow by Matt De La Pena
Polaris is Where You’ll Find Me by Jenny Han
It’s a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown by Stephanie Perkins
You Temporary Santa by David Levithan
Krampuslauf by Holly Black
What the Hell Have You Done, Sophie Roth? by Gayle Forman
Beer Buckets and Baby Jesus by Myra McEntire
Welcome to Christmas, CA by Kiersten White
Star of Bethlehem by Ally Carter
The Girl Who Woke the Dreamer by Laini Taylor


Thoughts before you started reading My True Love Gave To Me?
CHRISSI: It’s beautiful. Can I just stare it at for a while? Beautiful cover, just beautiful. I  was hoping it was just as beautiful inside!

LUNA: Those are some neon pink pages! :D Ok slightly more seriously I was thinking C’s = Cute, Cosy, Comfort reading.

What did you think of My True Love Gave To Me an anthology?
CHRISSI: I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised. I expected it to be a little cheesy. Some stories were. But mostly, I just got the warm fuzzy feeling when you read a very cute, festive, romantic story. Lovely! I think there was something for everyone within this anthology.

LUNA: My True Love Gave To Me surprised me. I originally thought it was going to be all contemporary Christmas stories but there were other genres in there as well. I was also really happy to see there variety of characters, backgrounds, believes, etc.

There will always be some stories that you prefer more than others but My True Love Gave To Me has a really good collection. I’d be surprised if there isn’t at least one you really love, with a good few more you enjoy a lot.

Favourite story/stories?
CHRISSI: I really liked ‘Angels in the Snow’ by Matt De La Pena. An author I hadn’t heard much about, but I absolutely devoured the story. I also thought ‘Midnights’ by Rainbow Rowell was cute.

LUNA: Angels in the Snow by Matt De La Pena was my favourite I think. Also loved: The Lady and the Fox by Kelly Link, It’s a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown by Stephanie Perkins, Welcome to Christmas, CA by Kiersten White and the quirkiness of Krampuslauf by Holly Black.

Have you discovered any new authors because of My True Love Gave To Me?
CHRISSI: I’ve read quite a few of these authors, hence my interest in the anthology. I have to add Matt De La Pena to my list, although Luna has discovered he doesn’t have a UK publisher. Boo!

LUNA: I have actually read a fair few and do have books by quite a few others on top of that. Kelly Link’s ‘Pretty Monsters: Stories’ has moved quite a bit higher on my TBR pile and I’ve added Matt De La Pena to my Christmas wish list. He doesn’t seem to have a UK publisher though, which really sucks…

Any you didn’t enjoy?
CHRISSI: I didn’t really dislike any of the stories, but my least favourite was probably Jenny Han’s ‘Polaris Is Where You’ll Find Me.’

LUNA: There weren’t any that I disliked as such but I was expecting to be blown away by David Levithan’s ‘Your Temporary Santa’ (because you know it’s David Levithan!) and I was also really excited about Jenny Han’s story but neither really connected.

Would you recommend it?
CHRISSI: Of course! An anthology full of talented authors. What’s not to like?

LUNA: Absolutely, with a hot drink and a cuddly blanket.

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Waiting on Wednesday #44

This is a weekly meme hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine. “Waiting on Wednesday” spotlights upcoming releases that you can’t wait to read.


Made You Up by Francesca Zappia

Reality, it turns out, is often not what you perceive it to be—sometimes, there really is someone out to get you. Made You Up tells the story of Alex, a high school senior unable to tell the difference between real life and delusion. This is a compelling and provoking literary debut that will appeal to fans of Wes Anderson, Silver Linings Playbook, and Liar.

Alex fights a daily battle to figure out the difference between reality and delusion. Armed with a take-no-prisoners attitude, her camera, a Magic 8-Ball, and her only ally (her little sister), Alex wages a war against her schizophrenia, determined to stay sane long enough to get into college. She’s pretty optimistic about her chances until classes begin, and she runs into Miles. Didn’t she imagine him? Before she knows it, Alex is making friends, going to parties, falling in love, and experiencing all the usual rites of passage for teenagers. But Alex is used to being crazy. She’s not prepared for normal.

Funny, provoking, and ultimately moving, this debut novel featuring the quintessential unreliable narrator will have readers turning the pages and trying to figure out what is real and what is made up.

This was one of the books Marieke recommended in her interview (click link here) and if there is one thing I’ve learned is that she’s never wrong. It is not annoying at all. ;)

Plus now the blurb in on Goodreads I know I would have picked it up anyway.

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish.

This weeks could be have been overall, genre, 2014 Releases, etc. I picked my favourite UKYA books for 2014.
These aren’t in any particular!

Darkness_Hidden_revealDarkness Hidden (The Name of the Blade #2) by Zoë Marriott


US CoverThe Whispering Skull (Lockwood & Co. #2) by Jonathan Stroud


UntitledWeirdos vs Bumskulls by Natasha Desborough


18621200Say Her Name by James Dawson


The Year Of The Rat by Clare FurnissThe Year of the Rat by Clare Furniss


cover43379-mediumFlirty Dancing by Jenny McLachlan


22617406>The Ghosts of Heaven by Marcus Sedgwick


20751439The Girl Who Walked On Air by Emma Carroll


18073726Dead Silent by Sharon Jones


18158411More Than This by Patrick Ness


What are your picks for the year?

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22443909How did I get the book?
Received from publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Genre: Fantasy

Synopsis: Rudger is Amanda’s best friend. He doesn’t exist, but nobody’s perfect.

Only Amanda can see her imaginary friend – until the sinister Mr Bunting arrives at Amanda’s door. Mr Bunting hunts imaginaries. Rumour says that he eats them. And he’s sniffed out Rudger. Soon Rudger is alone, and running for his imaginary life. But can a boy who isn’t there survive without a friend to dream him up?

A brilliantly funny, scary and moving read from the unique imagination of A.F. Harrold, this beautiful book is astoundingly illustrated with integrated art and colour spreads by the award-winning Emily Gravett.

200words (or less) review: For a change I’m going to show you the tweets that went with reading The Imaginary. There weren’t many, I was too busy being lost in A.F. Harrold’s wonderful creation.

I came home, sat down, turned the first page and a couple of hours later the book was read. This was the immediate reaction:


The Imaginary came with all the things you could possibly want. Wonderful storytelling, fantastic characters, not just Amanda and Rudgar (who are brilliant don’t get me wrong). I adored all of them; Zinzan, Snowflake and Fridge.
Mr Bunting, who was an excellent villain, and The Imaginary Girl – who I felt a little sorry for (That might just be me… )

The whole world of The Imaginary is magnificent. You’re lost in it, just like you should be in a good book. Doesn’t matter what your age is.

And then you have Emily Gravett’s illustrations on top of that – so beautiful.

The Imaginary is going in my list of favourite books I’ve read this year.
No doubt about it. :D

Recommend it?

Sunshine Star


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